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Holders Bayern reach Champions League last 16 as Atleti's qualification hopes in doubt

Meanwhile, Real Madrid go back on track with a win over 10-man Inter and Marseille slumped to a record 13th straight Champions League defeat.

HOLDERS BAYERN MUNICH booked their place in the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday as Robert Lewandowski claimed his 71st goal in the competition in a 3-1 home win over Salzburg.

fc-bayern-munich-rb-salzburg Robert Lewandowski drew level with Real Madrid great Raul in third on the Champions League list of top goalscorers. Source: DPA/PA Images

Lewandowski scored just before the break at the Allianz Arena to draw level with Real Madrid great Raul in third on the Champions League list of top goalscorers.

Only Cristiano Ronaldo, who has netted 131 times, and Lionel Messi with 118 goals, have scored more than Poland star Lewandowski.

Bayern earned their 15th straight Champions League win to qualify for the knock-out stage as Group A winners, as second-placed Atletico Madrid drew 0-0 with Lokomotiv Moscow.

“It’s important that we’re group winners. That’s a clear step in the right direction,” said Bayern captain Manuel Neuer, who was outstanding in goal.

Hosts Bayern doubled their lead just after the break when Kingsley Coman’s shot deflected in off Salzburg defender Maximilian Woeber.

Leroy Sane claimed their third goal just after Bayern were reduced to 10 men when midfielder Marc Roca was sent off on his Champions League debut.

Salzburg pulled a goal back when forward Mergim Berisha got in behind the Bayern defence to net on 73 minutes.

With Bayern defenders Niklas Suele and Lucas Hernandez sidelined, US international Chris Richards made his Champions League debut at left-back. Roca lasted just over an hour on only his third appearance since joining from Espanyol in October.

The European champions won 6-2 when the sides met in Austria at the start of November when Bayern scored four late goals.

Elsewhere in the group, Atletico Madrid’s qualification for the Champions League last 16 remains far from secure after they were held to a goalless draw at home to Lokomotiv Moscow.

Atletico remain second, two points ahead of Lokomotiv but with a game against Bayern at the Wanda Metropolitano still to come next week. 

Lokomotiv have to visit the reigning European champions in the final game while Atletico finish away at Salzburg, meaning it would still be a surprise if Diego Simeone’s side fail to reach the knock-out stages. 

But this was a chance missed to take command of second place as Atletico created several chances against their Russian opponents but lacked a finishing touch. 

Koke saw a goal ruled out for offside in the second half while the in-form Joao Felix and Marcos Llorente both went close. 

Luis Suarez, who was absent after testing positive for coronavirus, and Diego Costa, who has suffered a blood clot in his leg, might have helped break down a determined Lokomotiv defence. 

Meanwhile, Real Madrid closed in on the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday with a 2-0 win that pushed 10-man Inter Milan to the brink of elimination from the competition.

Eden Hazard put Real ahead after just seven minutes at the San Siro as Zinedine Zidane’s side brushed off the absence of captain Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema.

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imago-20201125 Inter are on the brink of a Champions League exit. Source: Imago/PA Images

Antonio Conte’s Inter played over an hour a man down after Arturo Vidal was sent off after half an hour.

The Chilean midfielder had argued for a penalty after going down under pressure from Real defenders but instead received two yellow cards for dissent.

Substitute Rodrygo came off the bench and forced Inter’s Achraf Hakimi to divert the ball into his own net against his former club, doubling Real’s lead on 59 minutes.

Real, the record 13-time European champions, move second in Group B with seven points from four games, one point behind Borussia Moenchengladbach, with Inter Milan bottom with just two points.

And Marseille broke an unwanted record for the most consecutive Champions League defeats, going down 2-0 at home to Porto to make it an unlucky 13 straight losses in the competition.

The French club, who won the inaugural edition of the Champions League in 1993, have now passed the previous record of 12 defeats in a row set by Belgian side Anderlecht between 2003 and 2005.

The Nigerian Zaidu Sanusi gave Porto the lead six minutes before half-time in a match played behind closed doors at the Velodrome.

Porto then had on-loan Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic sent off midway through the second half but they went 2-0 up soon after.

Marseille defender Leonardo Balerdi gave away a penalty and was sent off for a second yellow card. Sergio Oliveira converted the spot-kick and the Portuguese club are close to joining Manchester City in qualifying from Group C with two games remaining.

In contrast, Andre Villas-Boas’s pointless side are eliminated from the competition after four defeats out of four this season, but could still catch Olympiakos to take third place and salvage a place in the Europa League knockout rounds.

They host the Greek side next week before finishing their campaign away to City.

List of teams to have qualified for the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League last 16 after Wednesday’s matches:

  • Barcelona
  • Bayern Munich
  • Chelsea
  • Juventus
  • Manchester City
  • Sevilla

Wednesday’s Uefa Champions League results:

Group A

  • Atletico Madrid 0-0 Lokomotiv Moscow
  • Bayern Munich 3-1 Salzburg  

Group B

  • Inter Milan 0-2 Real Madrid 
  • Borussia Moenchengladbach 4-0 Shakhtar Donetsk

Group C

  • Marseille 0-2 Porto
  • Olympiakos 0-1 Manchester City 

Group D

  • Ajax 3-1 Midtjylland
  • Liverpool 0-2 Atalanta 

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